Members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike at a General Motors assembly plant that makes the American automaker’s full-size sport utility vehicles, in another expansion of the strike in Arlington, Texas, on October 24, 2023.
James Breeden | Reuters
DETROIT – General Motors plans to invest approximately $13 billion in U.S. facilities by April 2028, the United Auto Workers union said as part of its recent tentative agreement with the automaker.
GM has already announced some of the planned investments, including $4 billion at Orion Assembly in suburban Detroit and $2 billion in Spring Hill, Tennessee, for new electric vehicles. Others, like $1.25 billion for a future electric vehicle plant in Lansing Grand River, are new.
Many of the new investments include hundreds of millions of dollars for assembly plants to support or add additional volume, as well as engine and component plants.
Details of the tentative agreement were released Saturday after local UAW leaders with GM approved the pact, which still must be ratified by a simple majority of the union’s 46,000 members with the automaker. GM was the last Detroit automaker to reach a tentative agreement after Ford engine and Chrysler-parent stellantis.
The union reveals details of investments and products to show job security to its members.
GM’s investments in the United States through the terms of the tentative 4 ½-year plan compare with the union’s announced $8.1 billion at Ford and $18.9 billion at Stellantis, including $6.2 billion at Ford plants. previously announced pieces in Kokomo, Indiana.
The details revealed by the GM union do not include billions in previously announced investments in four joint battery cell plants in the U.S., including three upcoming facilities.
GM declined to comment on the released details, referring to a statement from CEO Mary Barra when the tentative agreement was initially announced: “GM is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the UAW that reflects the contributions of the team and the “We will continue to invest in our future and provide good jobs in America,” he said. “We look forward to getting everyone back to work across all of our operations, delivering great products to our customers and winning as one team.”
The tentative labor agreement was announced Monday after about six weeks of selective strikes by the union against GM, Stellantis and Ford, also known as the “Big Three” automakers. The work stoppages began on September 15 after the parties failed to reach agreements covering 146,000 UAW members with the automakers before the strike deadline.
“There’s a reason the Big Three and their allies feel like they’ve been led into the clear. This contract has pay increases and economic gains like we’ve never seen before,” UAW Vice President Mike Booth said during a broadcast online on Saturday. “The profits from this contract are worth more than four times those of the last contract.”
Like the UAW’s tentative agreement with Stellantis and Ford, the agreement includes 25% wage increases, bonuses and other enhanced benefits for autoworkers, such as profit-sharing payments and a $5,000 signing bonus.
The 25% increases include an 11% increase upon ratification, followed by a 3% increase over the next three years and then a 5% increase in September 2027.
At GM, the union also made significant progress by reducing different levels of workers so that they receive pay equal to or similar to their traditional colleagues in assembly plants. UAW President Shawn Fain said some workers will receive an immediate 89% raise if ratified by members.
“One of our central objectives in this round of negotiations was the elimination of tiers,” Fain said during the broadcast. “While we didn’t win everything, we made tremendous progress at GM. We did more to eliminate wage levels than any of the Big Three.”
The new workers added to the deal include employees from GM’s Ultium Cells joint venture for battery cells, Fain reconfirmed Saturday. Battery workers will receive a raise of between $6 and $8 an hour, he said.
Fain on Saturday reiterated the union’s plans to use record contracts with GM, Ford and Stellantis as leverage to unionize other automakers.
“We’re not shy or quiet about what our plans are: Our goal is to spend the next few years organizing auto workers across this country,” Fain said. “The Big Three aren’t the only auto companies making record profits. Auto workers at Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Tesla also deserve record contracts.”
ToyotaEngine Earlier this week it announced plans to raise wages at its US factories. The new rates would see the highest-rate hourly manufacturing employees in Kentucky receive pay increases of about 9% to $34.80 per hour, still below the maximum rate of more than $40 per hour under the agreements. UAW attempts with Detroit automakers.
UAW members at Ford have already begun voting on that tentative agreement. Notably, 82% of workers at Ford’s Michigan assembly plant voted in favor of the pact this week. The suburban Detroit plant was one of the first to strike along with other GM and Stellantis assembly plants.
UAW members with Stellantis and GM are expected to vote on the agreements in the coming weeks.